Van Hilten Advocaten & Mediators closes down as of November 1st

The partners of Van Hilten Advocaten & Mediators at Amsterdam and The Hague have by mutual agreement decided to end their collaboration.

Emma Kostense will continue her current practice at the law firm SmeetsGijbels in (1071 KP) Amsterdam at the Jacob Obrechtstraat 70 (see www.smeetsgijbels.com).

Willem de Vries will continue his current practice at the law firm ScheerSanders Advocaten in (2585 ED) The Hague at the Nassauplein 36 (see www.scheersanders.nl).

Margreet Ruijgrok, Monique Beijersbergen, Coen van den End, Sabrina De Jong en Zoë Vis will launch a new law firm named Silk Advocaten en Mediators. Silk Advocaten en Mediators will be located at the current address in (1075 HJ) Amsterdam at De Lairessestraat 129 and in (2596 AL) The Hague at the Zuid Hollandlaan 7 (Spaces) (see www.silkadvocaten.nl).

Edith van Ruitenbeek will discontinue her law practice and will focus on other professional activities.

Raya Oranje-Jorna will launch a law firm in (2514 AB) The Hague at the Koninginnegracht 19, named Raya Jorna Advocaat en Mediator (see www.rayajorna.nl).

InheritanceInheritance mediation

InheritanceInheritance mediation

An inheritance involves matters of mourning and division, but old grievances often resurface as well. Due to the quarrels or disputes caused by this, settlement of the inheritance may not be possible. Different levels of knowledge and expertise among the various heirs can also lead to insecurity or even mistrust, especially where questions of (international) law arise regarding applicable law, provisions regarding the division of the inheritance and the tax consequences, for example when dealing with a business, a second home in France or an apartment in Spain and the mortgage that goes with it. Another issue is how informal care is valued. The inheritance mediator can also help break through this impasse.

Increasingly, there appears to be a need for people to gather others around and, before dying, tell them what their life has meant to them, and then to deliberate and make arrangements with the prospective heirs, to make sure that everything is in order and quarrels or disputes after one's death are avoided. There is also a need to "finally" discuss difficult subjects or family taboos in a safe environment.

InheritanceInheritance mediation is a means of limiting the conflict without involving a judge, under the direction of a specialised mediator with knowledge of inheritance law and family relationships and who is focused on the issues surrounding death. This is a highly structured process (the larger the group, the more important this becomes). The mediator is impartial and his approach looks to the future. The various stages of the dispute are made explicit and reviewed with a view to a solution, one aligned with the participants' common interests and their futures. Minutes are taken of the process. Decisions are not taken regarding the participants, but by the participants. If needed, additional professionals with specialised knowledge may also be engaged. Also from abroad.

It is important to be aware of the fact that inheritance mediation is also characterised by voluntary participation in discussions and a willingness to deliberate, all, of course, in a confidential setting. It must also be clear that the inheritance mediator does not provide any ready solutions, but guides the parties towards the solution that they themselves must find. The mediator explains to the parties what the consequences of their choices - human, financial and legal - will be and encourages debate between them. The inheritance mediator ensures that the agreements made are legally feasible and sets them down in a written contract.

Feedback shows that a result achieved in such a manner often has a positive effect on the family members' sense of self-worth as well as for their mutual relationships.